Three different stories of Italian social mores are presented. In “Adelina”, unemployed Carmine Sbaratti and his wife Adelina Sbaratti survive through Adelina selling black market cigarettes on the street. They are unable to pay for the furniture they bought (which is under Adelina’s name), but are able to avoid the bailiff when he comes for the money or to repossess. They come up with a longer term solution to avoid Adelina being prosecuted for non-payment, but that solution has a profound effect on the family, especially Carmine. In “Anna”, Anna Molteni, the spoiled wife of a successful businessman, and an artist named Renzo are on the cusp of an affair. Anna is feeling neglected in the marriage, as her husband seems more concerned about success and money than her. But a car accident shows both Anna and Renzo if an affair with each other is really what they want. In “Mara”, Mara is a prostitute who works out of her apartment… –IMDb
Few European film-makers combined artistic ambitions with a genuine populist spirit in the manner of Vittorio De Sica. In his prolific career, the actor-director made many films on social subjects which nonetheless engaged a mass audience. A Neapolitan by birth, De Sica came from humble roots, working as a theatre actor in the early 1920s. His stage success led De Sica to films where he proved to be a popular actor, mounting more than thirty film credits before his directorial debut with Rosa Scarlatte (which he co-directed with Giuseppe Amato). Even after his success as a director, De Sica was a much sought after performer; appearing in such classics as Max Ophüls’ Madame de… and Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere.
De Sica’s fourth outing as a director was his first collaboration with screenwriter and film theorist Cesare Zavattini. The Children Are Watching Us anticipated neorealism in its detached focus on a young boy’s growing isolation from his mother. De Sica’s… read more
In three parts: the first is enjoyable; the final part - genuinely brilliant; the second lets it down.
"Adelina" Few films feel this full of love. "The darling..." Sophia Loren is as deep as she is beautiful; A Hepburn-esque quality delivered with vivacious strength. "Deep" themes discussed in a bright mood. This film is proof you don't have to be dark to be taken seriously. Beautiful repeating diagonal lines with the character MS. This is like a fun version of the Three Colors trilogy... Sexy can be profound.
Enjoyable 60s Italian comedy built around the star presence of Sophia Loren and Marcello Matroianni, both in top form as usual. It's often more mildly amusing than really funny, with the first segment going a bit too far over the top, though the second and third are nice subtle satires. Not quite memorable enough to be a classic, but an entertaining couple of hours with two great stars.